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GOSPEL COMMENTARIES


 

 

CHRIST THE KING (MATTHEW 25:31-46)

With the feast of Christ the King, we end the liturgical year. Next Sunday, we begin the liturgical year with the first Sunday of Advent. Note that the message of both Sundays is the same. . .a preparation for the second coming of Christ. The whole Catholic spirituality is eschatological, meaning to say, directed towards the second coming of Christ, whether it is through our personal death or the end of the world.

Advent is not so much a preparation for the first coming since that is gone and over with. The manner by which the heroes of the Old Testament prepared for the first coming is essentially similar with the manner we must prepare ourselves for the second coming. Thus, with Advent, we recall how the Old Testament heroes prepared for the first coming of Christ.

The feast of Christ the King tells us how we must prepare. A description of the judgment at the end times goes this way: Christ, the Divine Judge, will separate the goats from the sheep and condemn the goats, not so much for committing sin but for not performing good works. Christ did not say they were going to hell because of murder or fornication, but for not having fed the hungry.

These good works, however, must be the fruits of a way of life which St. Hippolyus described thus: lovers of the poor and of strangers, they did not make an idol of wealth, who took care of orphans and widows. They kept the seal of faith unbroken, they listened to my Scriptures, longed for my words, observed my law day and night. Like good soldiers, they shared in my suffering.

The good works enumerated, like feeding the hungry, were more physical in the Old Testament but are more spiritual in the New Testament. And so, the hungry, today, are those hungry for the words that lead to holiness and the thirsty are those who yearn for heavenly justice. The naked are those deprived of sanctifying grace and the imprisoned are those enslaved by their habit of sin.

And for the good work to be deserving of eternal life, it must be done to one of this the least of My brethren. And who are these?  . . . those who are truly seeking God. How can you feed one who hates to be holy with the knowledge towards holiness. He is not hungry.

 

 

 

 

 

(11-22-02)

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